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ounces being required), in exchange first amendment, he would now pro. for such an amount of notes of the ceed to state the other resolutions, Bank as shall be equal to the value which he proposed as amendments of of the gold so required, at the rate the right honourable gentleman's reof L.4, 1s. per ounce."
solutions. The next was,-" That, in After the resolutions had been the opinion of this House, the Bank read from the chair, Mr Ellice rose, oughi not to advance any money to and after having made a number of Government on Exchequer-bills, or observations, the tendency of which Treasury-bills, beyond the present was to confirm the statements of the sum advanced by them, or beyond right honourable gentleman (Mr the sum that shall remain due to the Peel,) announced his intention to Bank after the L.10,000,000 are repropose an amendment. The three duced, without the authority of Parfirst resolutions met his views; but liament.” The object of his next he differed from the recommenda- resolution was to put it in the option tion of the fourth. Although he did of the Bank to pay, in the legal coin, not concur in the principle of the or in gold, at the Mint price: and Chancellor of the Exchequer, who it was, " That the Bank have it in 1811 had procured the passing of in its option to pay, after the 1st of a resolution, declaring that Bank- May 1821, either in legal coin, or in notes had not depreciated, in the face gold, at L.3:17: 104 per ounce." of facts more glaring than those on He had one other amendment to prowhich the opposite doctrine was now pose, which would prove his attachsupported and acknowledged; yet ment to the ultimate object aimed at hie was averse to acknowledge, in a by the resolutions of the right holegislative enactment, that our cur- nourable gentleman. Since by the rency had depreciated. The permis- preceding amendments more indul. sion given to the Bank by the fourth gence was given to the Bank, he resolution, of paying their notes in thought it but fair that one year gold at the rate of 1.4, 1s. per oz., should be curtailed from the period while the Mint price was L.3:17:10, proposed for the final and full rewas a virtual acknowledgment of this sumption of cash payments. His adepreciation. If it was absolutely ne- mendment was, “That after the 1st cessary to attain the object of a re- of May 1822, the Bank pay its notes turn to cash payments, he would e- in the legal coin of the realm.” With ven concur in this resolution ; but he the last resolution moved by the thought the necessity might be avoid- right honourable gentleman no pered by the amendment he was about son could find fault; all were agreed to propose. The first resolution he as to the expediency of repealing would propose as his amendment, the laws against the melting and was leaving out the words after exportation of coin. He was sure “ that” in the fourth resolution, to that the amendments he proposed, substitute the following: “ it is ex• if agreed to, would prove as effecpedient to order by law, that the sum tual as the resolutions of the right of L.9,000,000 of the Bank advances honourable gentleman, and at the to Government be repaid, by month. same time get rid of the inconve. ly instalments of L.500,000, begin- nience which incumbered those rening with the 10th of June, and that solutions. no intermission take place till the Mr Brogden having read the fourth whole be repaid." Having thus ex- of the original resolutions, and the plained the nature and object of his resolution proposed as an amend.
ment, and put the question, Mr J. all parties. He would state plainly,
, P. Grant rose, and in a long speech and without rescrve, his reasons for descanted on the principles which he preferring the amendment of his hoconceived caused gold, coined and nourable friend, and for recommend. in bullion, to be exported from the ing it to the House for adoption. country ; and animadverted, with All were agreed, at least he hoped considerable severity, on the present that all or nearly all were agreed, Mint regulations, which he charac. that the sooner the ancient standard terised as “ an absurd and impolitic of value was restored the better. He system,” which has been found inef. was well convinced that there was fectual towards the accomplishment no security for the empire but in a of the end proposed. These remarks recurrence to a metallic currency. called up Mr W. Pole, who contended, No man's property could be safe, or that the honourable member was mis. even have a value, until that wholetaken in every point, and, in support some state were restored ; and the of his assertions, went into a length only dispute would be, whether the
. ened and minute detail, into which our method of restoring it now propo
, limits prevent us from following him. sed was such as ought to meet with
At this stage of the debate, Mr the approbation of discreet men. Tierney presented himself to the The plan of the right honourable House, and stated that he had heard, gentleman, or rather of the commitwith the utmost satisfaction, the iee, lay in a narrow compass. It speech of the right honoůrable gen. was, that the Bank, in February tleman who had proposed to the next, should pay at the altered stanHouse the resolutions which they dard of L.4, 1s. all demands upon were that evening called upon to dis- them to the extent of sixty ounces cuss, and that if a compliment from of gold ; that in October they should so humble an individual as himself pay them in gold at the rate of could give him any gratification, he L.3:19:6; and by the 1st of May would gladly offer it; but in truth 1820 revert to the old Mint stanhe was afraid to do so, lest he should dard of L.3 : 17:104: but it did not be thought to be paying a compli- stop here: for the plan was to conment to the principles which himself tinue for two years from that date, and many of the friends around him during which the Bank was to pay had been advocating for a long series its notes in bullion at the Mint price. of years. For his own part, he should The drift of the whole was, that in not have risen, at least at this period four years from the present date, of the debate, had he not been the that is, in the ninth year of peace, only member of the committee who the country shall have a prospect, had expressed a difference of opinion though a distant one, of enjoying as to the importance or utility of the once more the blessing of a metallic plan now proposed. He (Mr Tier: currency. The country was much ney) much lamented that he could indebted to his honourable friend not concur in the proposition that (Mr Ricardo) for employing his had been submitted to the House: mind, so well endowed upon all subno man was more anxious than him- jects, upon this; but he was by no self for a speedy resumption of cash means convinced that the plan he payments; no man had perhaps had suggested ought to be adopted. shown less lenity to the Bank Direc The House, however, would bear in tors, but justice ought to be done to mind that the project of the commit
tee was not his plan: it was a pro- be complied with, or that an appli. position of a totally different descrip. cation would not be made by Ministion, for it deferred all payments in ters to Parliament, stating that the bullion for two years, and did not at L.3:19: 6 were not a sufficient price last give the country a specie cur. for gold, and that L.4, 1s. must be rency until the lapse of two years continued, or the kingdom would be more. It was true
that some sort of exposed to imminent perils ? Supstepping-stone to Mr Ricardo's plan pose, at the termination of four years, (for it was idle to conceal the name) some unforeseen circumstances, like might be prudent; but he could not those of 1797, should occur, which without alarm and abhorrence see an induced Government to think it im. attempt thus made to introduce for politic to perform their engagement; no less a term than eighteen months, they might then say, the Mint price a standard of value unknown to the of gold is not enough, let us go back usages of the kingdom: it was in to L.3 : 19:6 per oz.; or, supported fact raising the price of gold because by precedent, they might even urge the price of paper was lowered : " if the necessity of returning to L. 4, 1s. your gold,” said the Minister, "will the price allowed three years before. not come to my gold, my gold must Surely this was a very possible dancome to your paper : if the mountain ger against which there was no guard, will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet and the country might be deprived must come to the mountain.” Per- of all hope of ever returning to cash haps the most eloquent of the many payments at all : the Bank Restriceloquent passages of the speech of tion itself might be proposed at the the right honourable gentleman re- very moment when people thought a lated to this subject to the danger wholesome currency was restored; that might arise from altering the and thus the wheel might turn round ancient permanent standard of va- without cessation : first with delusive Jue; and it was this that produced promises, that gold should be restoin his mind the greatest degree of red, and afterwards with an exposure alarm: he feared that the principle of that delusion, by a continuance of of the ancient standard being once the restriction. What then was to broken down, would never again be be gained by this much boasted disrestored. The system was proposed covery? Here he might make many on the other side as a security against observations upon the drain upon the possible dangers ; but he would ask Bank, and on the reduction of disin his turn, if there were not in that counts; but he forbore, because he very system a possible danger of es- was persuaded that the House would tablishing a precedent of most inju. hear them to much greater advanrious consequences ? Suppose (to tage from some of the directors or put a case) every thing went on as merchants whose interests were conwell as could be desired from hence cerned. He meant to put the matuntil October ; that there was no ter fairly, and he hoped he had done complaints of a drain on the Bank, so. What then was the real ground or of a want of currency for the sup- of this proceeding? Neither more ply of merchants; what answer might nor less than this, that the Bank was be made to the application to carry not to be trusted. As to the opiinto further effect the plan of to- nions of the Bank, he (Mr Tierney) night? What security was there was as hostile to them in general ag that the wishes of the country would any man; but in justice to that es.
tablishment it was but right to say, to admit, when they found all the that as yet the House (at least until rest of the world differing from them, the resolutions of the right honour that they must be in the wrong. The able gentleman were agreed to) en- argument on the other side amount. tertained the sentiments of the Chan. ed to this, and to nothing else, that cellor of the Exchequer, as detailed the Bank of England was no longer when he opposed the principles of to be trusted, because it is evident, Mr Horner in 1810, and which were from some expressions used by the recorded on the journals. Since Directors, that they will not take the that time light had certainly broken proper and necessary measures for in upon the Chancellor of the Ex- paying their own notes. Undoubtchequer; and who should assert that edly the Bank seemed to be acting light might not break in upon the very foolishly, even with a view to Bank Directors? If a decided opi. their own interest ; for in a pecuniary nion of the majority of the country point of view, the plan was most faand of the House had made converts vourable to them. At least, thereof Ministers, and had induced them fore, the Bank were acting upon a to abandon a course they had unde- disinterested principle in opposing viatingly pursued for the last ten or it, unless it were to be supposed that twelve years, was it unfair to sup- they did not understand what was or pose that the Bank Directors might was not for their own benefit. Was be converted also ? He did not con- it not, however, extraordinary that tend that those gentlemen were at 80 much pains should be taken to all warranted in entertaining the obtain a security from the Bank, and strange and wild notions they had that the House should take it for promulgated; but practically how granted that Government would do did the matter stand? The what was right? The evidence was mittee maintained as an abstract directly in the teeth of this; for it principle, and as statesmen and phi- showed that the Bank had uniformlosophers, that the issue of paper ly endeavoured to do what was right, governed the price of gold; but ihe and that Government had as uniDirectors, not pretending to be formly resisted it. The course of judges of political economy, merely things had been this :-in 1816, Parreplied, that there would be a run liament passed a bill, declaring that upon them, and they must call in cash payments should be resumed in their paper for the purpose of pro- 1818: the Bank took steps to effect tecting themselves. The issue then it, by advertising that they would was between statesmen and philoso- pay a certain portion of their notes phers acting upon solid principles of in specie: in the year following, 1817, political economy, and Bank Direc- they went further, and agreed to pay tors who considered only their own all notes dated before January of peculiar convenience and private in that year, amounting to many milterests. It had always struck him lions. But what did the Chancellor with astonishment that twenty-six of the Exchequer do? He stated in such well-informed gentlemen could the House with the utmost triumph, be found to maintain that the price that the Bank were paying gold, and of gold was in no way regulated by that a specie currency was actually the issue of paper : that seemed a commenced. This was the same monstrous proposition, and the Di. Chancellor of the Exchequer who rectors were now in a manner bound now declared, that the Bank was not
to be trusted. It was contended by bring the exchanges right, and that the friends of the ancient standard in healthy times it would be found of value, that the Bank ought then much more difficult to get the gold to have reduced its issues ; but it out of the country, than to entice it now turned out in the evidence, that into it. It was said, however, that it had not been done, and that if stu- circumstances might arise to produce pidity were not the right word as ap- an alteration ; but if in the course of plied to the Directors, guilt was un- four years such calamity might be doubtedly the right word as applied expected, was it any thing less than to the Ministers. The evidence of madness not to have made arrangeMr Harman was decisive: he stated ments sooner? Though he (Mr that the Bank did not decrease its Tierney) was far from concurring in issues, for it had no control over the wild doctrines of some, he must them, as the whole management was be pardoned for saying, when he taken out of its hands by Govern- found all classes of men uniting in ment. He could not figure to him. opinion against the plan, that there self any thing more mischievous than must be something in their aversion. for the Government to hold up the It would be asserted, no doubt, that Bank as unworthy of public confi- such men did not understand what dence. As long as there was a Bank, they were talking about ; that they it was our interest to maintain its argued against the principles of such character: upon that depended the and such approved writers: this estimation in which the public would might be a very pleasant answer for hold the currency; and a more ex. Ministers, but it would not satisfy traordinary recipe for Government those who would be severe losers was never heard of than this, that by the scheme. Next, it would be because some new light had broken urged, that such doctrines encouin upon those hitherto “ in middle raged panic; but it was one of the and utter darkness,” the strictest se. chief beauties of the amendment, curities were to be demanded, and that it put an end to all causes of the utmost rigour displayed. Did he alarm. It was a vecessary part of (Mr Tierney) then wish for securi- the plan, that Bank notes should be ties? He did; and as the most effec. made a legal tender, but that could tual, he required that the Bank not be effected without gross injusshould be paid the advances it had tice. The distinction between a permade to the full extent demanded. sop with L.240, and another who had If they wanted L.10,000,000, let them only L.10 in Bank notes, was most be paid, and then let the House pass iniquitous: the one might amass his some strong resolutions, that at the ingot, while the other could only time appointed a specie currency trust to his paper; the one, if he should certainly be restored. His were alarmed, might obtain gold, firm conviction was, that after what while the other could obtain nothing; had passed, if the L.10,000,000 were so that a panic was allowed to a man paid, the Bank would be ready in of large means, while a person of a two years or sooner to resume cash small fortune had no right whatever payments. He was one of those who to indulge apprehensions. It had believed that the ordinary current of been said that no evidence had been the Bank, unless checked by war, a called before the Committee as to deficient harvest, or some other cause the merits of this project; and it was of equal power, would necessarily an extraordinary truth, that from the